UK confectionery and snacks group Glisten has formed a joint venture with "lite" confectioner Skinny Candy.

The London-listed firm said the 50:50 venture had bought the brand and certain assets of Skinny Candy for GBP150,000 (US$304,000) from Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of the Coffee Republic coffee store chain.

Hashemi developed the Skinny Candy brand to focus on the fast-growing low-sugar and low-fat confectionery sector and launched the Skinny Candy range two years ago.

The Skinny Candy range is currently sold in UK department stores but Glisten said it would look to sign new deals with retailers and foodservice operators in the market.

Glisten chief executive Paul Simmonds said: "Consumers still want great tasting chocolate and sweet treats but a rising number of people now insist on some additional functional benefits and ideally some element of guilt-free self-indulgence."